Vancouver teachers ask government to make bargaining a priority

VANCOUVER, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The BCTF tabled a revised and reduced set of proposals at the bargaining table yesterday. It represents a significant shift in demands for the BCTF that reflect teachers' commitment to bargaining a fair and reasonable contract. Teachers have, since the beginning of bargaining, sought changes to our Collective Agreement that improve the working and learning conditions in our schools.

This new package represents an investment of 300 million dollars in public education. It includes increases in salary that will allow Vancouver teachers to keep up with the cost of living in one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. It also includes significant modifications and reductions to our previous proposal.

Teachers in Vancouver support the BCTF's even-handed position and we implore BCPSEA to come to the table and reach a negotiated settlement.  Comments by the Minister of Education, George Abbott, that our proposal is "absurd" does nothing to move the parties closer to a negotiated settlement.

"Teachers in Vancouver have been on strike since September," says Debbie Pawluk, President of the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association. "Teachers want to get back to business as usual but need a collective agreement that respects the work we do and guarantees support for our most vulnerable students."

Chris Harris, President of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association, says, "Our employer, the Vancouver Board of Education, is urging the government to revisit the government bargaining mandate for teachers in order to reach a negotiated settlement.  It is time that the provincial government made bargaining with teachers a priority."

SOURCE VESTA: Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association

For further information:

For more information about this media release, contact: Chris Harris, President, Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association at chris@vesta.ca, 604-873-8378 (office) or 604-604-760-5833 (cell) or Debbie Pawluk, President, Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association at debbie@vstaweb.ca, 604-873-5570 (office) or 778-989-5136 (cell).

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VESTA: Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association

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